Nature · Photography

The Math of Sunflowers and Crop Overlays in Lightroom

sunflower field near Conway, AR

I would try to explain the math of sunflowers but let’s face it, it’s math, and we all know how good I am at math. NOT! It blows my mind if I can’t count or figure it up on my fingers and toes. A great explanation of the Fibonacci sequence and the Golden Ratio found in middle of a sunflower is located at Nature Blows My Mind! The Hypnotic Patterns of Sunflowers.

For all my photographer friends out there using Lightroom. Did you know you can use the Golden Ratio overlay when cropping photos? While using the crop tool if you press the O key you can cycle through the many crop overlays available. When you find an overlay you like, if you press Shift O you can rotate the orientation of that overlay to fit your image if need be. More information on crop overlays in Lightroom can be found on Have Camera Will Travel.




Finton Shaw Sculpture Garden



There’s not much left of Finton Shaw’s Sculpture Garden near Conway, Arkansas. If you did not know it was there, you would pass on by thinking it was just another junk yard alongside the road. Among the tall grass and weeds are the remains of Mr. Shaw’s sculptures including one he was working on at the time of his death, in 2012, featuring Bill Clinton.

I took these pictures from across the highway and from the old driveway of Shaw’s property. I didn’t have any snake boots and I was not sure the current owners of the property really want anyone exploring. I left wishing I would have met the artist and seen the sculptures before his death.

For more information on Finton Shaw and his sculptures:


  • 5080 Hwy 64, Conway, AR

When the Golden Hour Meets the Blue Hour

As I was leaving Conway yesterday I knew I had to find a place to pull over to stop and photograph the rising full moon. The wispy clouds were trailing across the face of the moon making the scene beautiful but yet a little creepy looking. The clouds and atmosphere made it hard to get a tack sharp image so I didn’t bother pulling out the tripod.



As I turned the car around to head back out on the highway, I saw that everything in the West was bathed in a very intense orange.



Historic Arkansas

Dr. E. F. Utley House, Cabot, Arkansas


Utley House, Cabot, Arkansas

Wow, there’s only two places in Cabot that are on the National Register of Historic Places. Only one house and the Confederate Cemetery. I photographed 10 more houses the other day and I know there’s still more in town that could be eligible.
The 2 1/2 story Dr. E. F. Utley House, at 401 W. Pine Street in Cabot, was built sometime between 1914 and 1922 and is an example of an “American Foursquare” with Colonial Revival-style detailing.
During the time it was constructed, Cabot had a population around 447 people and had a bank, a weekly newspaper, two nurseries and a telephone exchange.
The property is known as the Utley House for Dr. E. F. Utley, a local “horse and buggy” doctor who owned, lived and saw patients in the house from about 1935 to 1955.
The house has been reported to be haunted by the current owner. Sounds of people walking across the upper floors and down the stairs are often heard. The front entrance door has also been seen to open by itself even when fully latched.
The property was listed in National Register of Historic Places on June 3, 1998. (By a strange coincidence, this image was taken June 3, 2017, 19 years later)

The Sharecroppers House


“When We Worked on Shares, We Couldn’t Make Nothing”

Henry Blake


Thanks to Google Maps I have a new, and quicker, way to get to Scott, Arkansas from Cabot. I went to Scott yesterday to photograph the still smoldering remains of Cotham Mercantile.

Along this new route are several historic farms and at least one historic plantation. The biggest surprise was seeing an old sharecroppers house, so cool. It’s rare to find them standing, let alone one that is still in pretty decent shape. This one won’t be for long though with the metal roof sheets peeled back like they are.

One picture is taken with my Nikon and the other with my phone. Can you tell which one is which?

UPDATE November 6, 2017:

Apparently, a storm that came through the area really did some damage to this old place. I almost started crying when I turned the curve in the road and saw this:


Cothams Mercantile 1917 – 2017

cotham mercantile scott arkansas
Cotham’s June 23, 2015

Built in 1917 Cotham’s has been a treasured Arkansas landmark for the past 100 years. Once used as a general store, Army commissary and as jail for those awaiting trial it has been a restaurant since 1984. Down home cooked plate lunches, it’s famous “Hubcap Burger” and everyone’s favorite Mississippi Mud Pie are always on the menu.

Unfortunately, the historic Cotham’s was completely destroyed by fire on May 30, 2017. It’s legacy lives on however as it’s sister restaurant, Cotham’s in the City, has been serving customers in Little Rock since 1999.


Cotham’s May 30, 2017